Deals

To infinity and beyond! ‘Earth video camera’ takes one giant leap forward

For all the people who have fantasized of seeing the earth from outer space, UrtheCast is making that dream a reality.

UrtheCast is launching the world’s first high-definition video platform of Earth, streamed live from the International Space Station. Today, “Earth’s video camera” announced a $25 million financing agreement that will bring its vision closer to a reality.

The space tech startup is working with partners from the international aerospace community to build, launch, install, and operate two cameras on the Russian segment of the ISS. The data will be downlinked to ground stations and broadcasted in near real-time, to “change the way we view the world” and provide a view “only astronauts have experienced.”

“When you begin using the platform, it will feel much like you’re interacting with a mashup of Google Earth and YouTube. You will be able to scroll, pan, zoom, and search your way around the Earth video stream, which will reveal everything from natural wonders of the world to buzzing urban centers,” the company said on its site.

Vanounver-based UrtheCast previously raised over $4.5 million in August 2012 to accelerate development of cameras and the ground station network, as well as build strategic partnerships. Once the cameras go live later this year, UrtheCast will provide an interactive platform for consumers, app developers, educators, media outlets, government bodies, humanitarian relief organizations, and environmental monitoring services.

The $25 million is the result of a reverse take-over with Longford Energy Inc. Once the deal is completed, UrtheCast will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Longford. UrtheCast’s CEO and President Scott Larson said in a statement that the transaction will provide the capital needed to execute on the business plan, and also add expertise to the team.

The platform will be open source, allowing developers to create apps based on the video data. Like stars in the galaxy, the possibilities are endless. Now if only the company name didn’t immediately call to mind “urethra.”